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Writing History & Mysteries

When I'm not delving into historical research, I'm planning a character's demise.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Milk Carton Murders 33

SETUP: The three girls whose twenty plus-year-old remains washed up in coffins at Wiscoy Creek have been identified as Lisa Appleton, Rachel McKenzie and Samantha Briggs. Samantha was a foster child at Dave's house when he was a kid, and it was the last place Dave seen her alive. His dad Hal is one of the suspects. Dave and Investigator Pepper Black are at the police station going through boxes Dave pulled from their attic. One is a box of old foster family files (that Dave's dad believes will help clear him) and a couple boxes of old photographs from the right time period and before. Dave's dad, Hal, also worked in the print shop at the dairy, the supervisor being Charlie Smythe. Below Dave and Pepper are going through photos to identify them.

She  reached her hand in the box, pulled out a photograph and held it up. “Aw, look at how cute you were as a boy—although a bit glum—when was this taken?”
Dave glanced over at the photo. “Not sure—looks like I'm three or four maybe? I’m sitting on the stool in the print room office where we were the other day.”
“Oh yes, I remember you and Charlie Smythe saying your dad brought you to work with him when you were little.” She looked again at the photograph of Dave, then at the back, and stopped.
“Something wrong, Pepper?”
“What, no,” Pepper said, with a weak smile, "just trying to look close at all the photos—match them up right." She put his picture in the "gone through" pile and changed the subject.

Sorry the end of that snippet was rather abrupt. Pepper says something right after, changing the subject, but it would have gone way over the sentence limit.

The link to the other Weekend Writing Warriors is here. You're bound to find something to pique your interest.

The Sunday Snippet writer's on Facebook are here. Between the two there is something for everyone. Thank you for any comments you leave me. Much appreciated!

I'm being a NaNoWriMo rebel and using the goal stats to get my back title, as they say, Kindleized. Is that a word? If not it is now. It's an 1860s true crime called Bread & Butter: The Murders of Polly Frisch (co-authored with my friend, Ellen Bachorski). It needs a go over to fix some typos and punctuation. I see things now that I didn't 13 years ago when it was first published. Wish me luck and good luck to all of those on the last week of NaNo!
When three small coffins are unearthed near the Wiscoy Creek during a routine dredging operation, it’s the last thing DAVE ROBERTSON, of the Lamont Weekly Times, expected. Pinned to the skeleton’s clothing are pictures from milk cartons of missing girls.

Dave is stunned to find that one of the girls is Sally―a foster child his parents had cared for through the Friends of Foster Families (FFF) program. Cold case files reveal the girls disappeared over 20 years ago. Knowing his house was the last place he saw Sally alive, he can’t help but suspect his dad.

How can he write the biggest story of his career if his father turns out to be the killer? If the voice in his head would shut up and let him remember, he might figure it out before he loses his mind and his dad is charged with murder.

Full blurb and snippet recap here.



  1. Ooh what has she noticed? Exciting eight!

  2. You left me with a who dunnit feeling. Excellent eight making me want a whole bunch more.

  3. Nice--and subtle. Our favorite sleuth, pepper, has surely seen something on the back of that photo! Wonderful way to build intrigue, Cindy! :-)

  4. ohh, sneaky thing to do there, Cindy! I don't consider many books as true "must reads" but this sure qualifies.

  5. So, I wonder what she saw that she doesn't want him to know about. Compelling snippet, Cindy. Great job!

  6. Cindy, once again you are a sneaky Pete...leaving us dangling. Like Marcia, I'm ready to buy!!!! Can't wait for this to find it's way into publication!

  7. As always, intriguing and a new hint of a glint of the mystery to chew on. What did she see???? Excellent excerpt!

  8. Whenever someone suddenly changes the subject.... something is afoot!

  9. oh man you're killing me with these cliffhangers!!

  10. Something about Dave's past isn't quite right.

  11. What did she see!! I so look forward to your mysteries each week and this is another great snippet.

  12. Is it him? Is it not him? Is there an embarrassing nickname on there? WHAT?!!

  13. Now what's she spotted?

  14. She noticed something, didn't she? What is it? Gotta know. :)

  15. "What Does the Back Say?"

    (Don't make me post the "What Does the Fox Say?" video!)

  16. Look at the back of the picture, Dave! Look at it!

    Suspenseful snippet.

  17. What could she have seen written on the back of the photo? Could it be the date or identification of the little boy in the pic that she didn't expect, or...? Very intriguing.

  18. Just catching up on your blog. Very interesting. We all want to know what she noticed on the back of the picture!


Anyone can comment. You don't need to jump through hoops or be a member of anything. Nice huh?

Available in paperback and eBook formats

Available in paperback and eBook formats

Now Available At:

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The History Press

Carried by over 20 college/university libraries across the county, according to daily updates by worldcat.org, including Columbia University, Oklahoma State, Texas A & M, and Yale University Law Library.


APRIL 2nd,11-1 PM
The Book Shoppe - Medina, NY

APRIL 16th, 2 PM
Barnes & Noble - Pittsfield, MA

APRIL 19th, 7 PM
Tonawanda Indian Reservation Historical Society,
Tonawanda Indian Community Center- Akron, NY

MAY 14th, 1 PM
Seneca Iroquois National Museum - Salamanca, NY

May 17th, 6 PM Warsaw Public Library - Warsaw, NY

AUG 9TH, 7 pm Hoss's Country Corner -2016 Author's Night- Long Lake, NY

AUG 25TH 6 PM Akwesasne Cultural Center - Hogansburg, NY

More to announce as they are confirmed.

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Bread & Butter the Murders of Polly Frisch

Bread & Butter the Murders of Polly Frisch
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